Windermere Lake Cruises
Windermere Lake Cruises has a large fleet of modern and traditional launches and ‘steamers’, which operate the full length of Windermere, calling at Waterhead, Bowness and Lakeside. A return cruise between Bowness and Waterhead takes about 1.25 hours. A return cruise between Bowness and Lakeside takes about 1.5 hourse, and a return cruise round the whole lake takes about 3 hours. Some boats also stop at the pier at Brockhole, the National Park Visitor Centre. Lakeside Station was built in 1869 as the terminus of the old Furness Railway. Today you can travel to Haverthwaite on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway. Also at the station is the Aquarium of the Lakes. Combined tickets for these can be purchased.
The Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway
In 2008 the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway is celebrating it’s 35th anniversary and is proudly the Lake District’s only Standard Gauge Preserved Railway. Regardless of the weather, head to Lakeside at the foot of Windermere, park the car, board the train to Haverthwaite and relax as you travel back in time from the lake through the ever changing scenery of the Leven Valley before reaching Haverthwaite where you can visit the shop, restaurant and engine shed, then board the train back to Lakeside and if you haven’t already enjoy the wonderful Aquarium of the Lakes.
The Aquarium of the Lakes
The aquarium is at the Lakeside Pier, where you can arrive by boat from Waterhead or Bowness, or you could come on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway. There is ample parking.
The World of Beatrix Potter and the Beatrix Potter Gallery
Well, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, the only Beatrix Potter themed attraction in Europe, where you can visit Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-duck and many other delightful characters. The attraction includes all 23 Tales by Beatrix Potter, brought to life in a magical indoor recreation of the Lakeland countryside, complete with sights, sounds and even smells. So you can meet Peter Rabbit in Mr. McGregor’s garden, discover Jemima Puddle-duck in the woodland glade and visit Mrs. Tiggy-winkle in her kitchen. The Miss Potter Room explores the life of Beatrix Potter with a unique Virtual Walks display, short film presentation and innovative exhibits about Beatrix Potter and her pioneering life. You can also browse through the Beatrix Potter Emporium with its comprehensive range of Peter Rabbit gifts. The Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead is one of the National Trust’s more unusual properties in that it has an interesting link with Beatrix Potter herself. The 17th Century building, which was once the office of her husband, local solicitor William Heelis, has remained largely unaltered since his day. The Gallery houses an annually changing exhibition of a selection of Beatrix Potter’s original drawings and illustrations. Beatrix Potter was however much more than a gifted artist and author. She was, without question, a determined preserver of her beloved Lake District and a great believer in the aims of the fledgling National Trust, bequeathing her numerous farms and land to the Trust in 1943.
Coniston Water and it’s record breaking history
Coniston is just a short drive from Bowness-on-Windermere through travelling through beautiful scenery and passing some of the smaller natural attractions the area has to offer. The lake itself is home to the rebuilt Victorian Steam Yacht Gondola upon which you can cruise Coniston Water the old-fashioned way enjoy stunning lakeland views from onboard this elegant boat. Donald Campbell broke the water speed record on Coniston Water in 1955, and was killed attempting to regain it again in 1967. There is a memorial to him on the village green, just opposite the car park, and information about him in the Ruskin Museum. More information, and a replica of Bluebird, can be seen at the nearby Lakeland Motor Museum.
Wast Water – “the best view in the UK” – ITV’s ‘Britain’s Favourite View’
Wasdale is remote, tranquil, and a truly beautiful area in the Lake District National Park. On 9th September 2007 Wast Water was voted the best view in the UK in the ITV programme ‘Britain’s Favourite View’, beating 15 other nominated locations. Although remote, Wasdale can be reached by car. The road terminates at Wasdale Head, starting point for climbers attempting to climb Great Gable, Scafell Pike, Pillar, Kirkfell, Lingmell and other mountains in the area. Wast Water is England’s deepest Lake. At its deepest it is below sea level. Scree comes right down to the shore on the far side of the lake. Much of the practical work involved in maintaining the area’s beauty is carried out by the landowners, the National Trust. Many people venture no further than Bowness or Ambleside and return home with jaundiced views of how the Lake District is being destroyed by its very popularity. They’ve obviously never visited Wast Water and Wasdale!
Lakeland Motor Museum
Within the grounds of Holker Hall is the Lakeland Motor Museum. There are over 150 cars, motorcycles, tractors, cycles and engines plus rare motoring automobilia. There is the Campbell Legend Bluebird Exhibition featuring the exploits of Sir Malcolm Campbell and his son Donald Campbell who captured 21 world speed records for Great Britain. Highlights include full size replicas of the Bluebird car that broke the world land speed record in 1935, and the famous Bluebird jet Hydroplane in which Donald Campbell was killed on Coniston Water in 1967. The exhibition features video, photographs and scale models of the cars and boats used by the Campbells.
Go-Ape, Grizedale Forest
Climb the trees and slide across high wires, crawl through tunnels, cross rope bridges, walk the planks and zip down to the ground! Go Ape is an award-winning high wire forest adventure course of rope bridges, tarzan swings and zip slides… all set high up in the tree tops. Providing a fun day out with friends, families or colleagues, you’ll be fitted with a climbing harness and given instruction before trekking from tree to tree high above the forest floor. Split into a number of different sections, the experience takes approximately 2.5-3 hours to complete but may vary depending on how many people are up in the trees.
A guide to the many attractions and places of interest in Cumbria, The Lake District, England, including historic buildings, lakes, preserved railways, churches, the National Trust, walks, towns and villages, hundreds of aerial photographs, and famous people connected with Cumbria.